What is Depakote?
Depakote has a wide range of the pharmacological characteristics which are used in the neurological and psychiatric practice. It has Valproic acid which has a broad action and belongs to many modern antiepileptic products.
Depakote provides an anti-convulsive, myorelaxing and sedative action. A mechanism of the action is mainly conditioned by the increase of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the central nervous system. But it is unknown what else receptors take part in the broad action of the drug on the central nervous system and brain.
One of the main advantages of Depakote is that it helps to increase a convulsive threshold in people with different types of epilepsy. In a month of the treatment, a frequency of the epileptic attacks is significantly reduced and the intensity of the epileptic activity is decreased.
Who should take Depakote?
Depakote is prescribed patients with neurological and psychological disorders including epilepsy. These are manic depressive psychosis, bipolar disorders, and organic diseases of the brain.
How to take Depakote?
Depakote is produced in tablets and capsules. The capsules are quickly dissolved but a therapeutic effect is not better due to this, and therefore there is not difference between the tablets and capsules.
The drug is used during or right after meals. A dosing regimen is individual in accordance with the body weight, age and type of a disorder. Adults start the treatment from a dose of Depakote 125 mg. This is the lowest dose which helps to track a reaction to the action of valproic acid and estimate the treatment.
In a week, a dose is gradually increased. The optimal therapeutic dose of Depakote is 500 mg but it may be up to 1500 mg per day depending on a reaction to the treatment. A dose may be also adjusted during the treatment, and therefore it is better if a patient is controlled by a doctor.
Children start to take Depakote from a dose of 15 mg per 1 kg per day. If the body reaction is good, and no side effects appeared, a dose is increased up to 30-45 mg per 1 kg per day.
The treatment is continued until therapeutic doses of Depakote help to control epileptic activity. If the maximal doses do not really help, it is necessary to stop the treatment and change the medicine.
What are side effects?
The use of Depakote may cause dizziness, tremor, mood changes, fatigue, hallucinations, high appetite, diarrhea, decrease or increase of the body weight, and skin rash.
If the side effects may be controlled, the treatment is not stopped. If the symptoms bring discomfort (psychological or physical), it is necessary to terminate the treatment and consult a doctor.
- There is data about possible development of suicidal thoughts and behavior in patients taking Depakote. A patient should be controlled within the first 2 weeks
- Due to records about severe and fatal cases, hepatic failure and pancreatitis, it is necessary to check the functions of liver and do ultrasound imaging of the abdominal cavity during the use of Depakote
- Depakote is not prescribed during pregnancy and breast-feeding.